top of page

Doug DeForge joins The Hatchery as Executive Chef

Updated: May 7

As The Hatchery Oyster Eatery is gearing up for our second year, there is someone new behind-the-scenes who will be running the ship — or should we say food truck. Our team is excited to announce The Hatchery’s new Executive Chef and Manager, Doug DeForge!

If you’ve frequented restaurants in Mathews over the years, his name might ring a bell. Doug has been dishing out meals from local kitchens for over 20 years. Doug was born and raised in Mathews and has been working in the restaurant industry since graduating from Mathews High School in 2002, only taking a brief break after high school to work for a logistics company.  His first job was as a dishwasher for the Mathews Yacht Club, and over the years, he has more than earned himself into the role of Executive Chef.

Where many might remember him from is his long employment with Southwind Pizza where he worked almost exclusively since 2008. He managed the kitchen there since 2012 and loved working with his crew. Chances are if you’ve visited Southwind's over the years, you’ve enjoyed many of his recipes that showcased the diverse and delicious range of seafood on their menu on a daily basis.

Being the new place in town, The Hatchery is very excited to welcome such an experienced and well respected chef to join our team and help us grow and evolve the business.

Doug's a big fan of oysters, but especially loves cooking then ‘back porch’ style over the grill with his wife, Erica and two kids. He’s excited to be apart of The Hatchery’s laid back atmosphere and develop the menu. He already has some ideas to eventually incorporate more vegetarian options, cold plates, seafood specials and cool weather additions like his famous oyster stout stew.

Doug is excited to get things started this May, saying “this place is like having a cookout every weekend on the water!” We will open Fridays-Sundays - keep a look out on our social media for our opening weekend!

So how did a bunch of biologists get by running a food truck in the first place? Well we couldn't have done it in our first year without chef Scott Dinning. Scott, also a biologist and big time foodie. ran our kitchen in its inaugural year and was pivotal and dedicated to getting The Hatchery going. While he won’t be coming back as chef after taking a full time position with Ward Oyster Company, you will see his familiar and friendly face more this season shucking on the back deck with Tom Minogue. Many of Scott’s original recipes will remain on the menu like the best seller fried oyster tacos. Scott has been integral in starting the concept of hatchery culture with us and we want to give him a huge public thank you.

Doug had his first spin in the food truck in April serving an oyster-centric menu at a VIMS event to celebrate oyster restoration in the York River. Little did he know, Governor Glenn Younkin was in attendance as well as representatives from VMRC, NOAA, Chesapeake Oyster Alliance, local farmers, and other representing institutions from the industry. The event marked a significant milestone in Maryland and Virginia’s ongoing partnership in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement to rejuvenate oyster populations in the Bay.

264 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page